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Practice Management > Building Your Business

SaveDay to Launch Robo-401(k) for Small Businesses

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A new robo-401(k) that targets small-business owners hit the market in February. SaveDay is a “digitally advised and guided” platform that aims to offer low-cost 401(k) plans to small businesses, according to CEO Ayman Abukhater.

“We tried to reduce the complexity of onboarding the employer, of onboarding the employee, creating a simple interface for them to plan their retirement and target how much they need, and from there make recommendations for them to decide how much to contribute,” Abukhater told ThinkAdvisor on Tuesday.

The platform will officially launch Saturday, Abukhater said.

There are no fees per employee or setup fees for the employer, and participant fees are expected to be around 0.45%. 

“We center the investment option on managed accounts that are run by an independent fiduciary that provides personalized portfolios based on low-cost ETFs” from firms including Charles Schwab, BlackRock and Vanguard, Aidan Yeaw, vice president of product, said on Tuesday.

While the platform is driven by its digital offering, participants will be able to contact financial professionals through a chat feature, by email or by phone, Yeaw said.

“Because we’ve built this as a technology platform, we’ve led with a rich user interface built around a digital-first, and especially a mobile-first, user experience,” he added.

Yeaw said that while there are “certainly some similarities” between SaveDay and larger competitors like Betterment for Business, they’re after different target markets. “We’re looking more at the startup plan, new plan market,” he said. “Betterment for Business came out with their best pricing for bigger plans. Their best pricing kicks in at about $1 billion in assets under management.”

Yeaw said SaveDay’s philosophy is to keep fees “very simple and straightforward,” and offers its service with an “all-in cost of 0.45%; that includes the cost of the underlying ETFs that we use,” regardless of the size of the plan.

“We’re certainly not the only competitor in the space,” Yeaw said, noting America’s Best 401k and Ubiquity have been in the business for some time. ”We’re all trying to solve the same problem. We have slightly different ways of doing it, whether it’s product or pricing, but the problem we’re trying to solve for is that most small businesses do not offer a 401(k) plan.”

A 2013 report by the Government Accountability Office found about 14% of employers with 100 or fewer workers “sponsor some type of plan for their employees to save for retirement.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that as of March 2015, less than half of private companies with fewer than 100 workers offered a defined contribution plan.

“The market is large enough to absorb so many people trying to solve for the same thing,” Abukhater added.

— Read Can Robo-Advisors Really Be Fiduciaries? on ThinkAdvisor. 


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